KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The USDA Forest Service will be inventorying stream crossings in and around the Cherokee National Forest to help improve roads and reduce the damage done by flooding. The inventory will begin on August 16 and run until the 28.
The majority of the project will take place in Polk and Monroe counties, with some work being done in McMinn County. The USDA hopes to gain a comprehensive understanding of existing stream crossings to help prioritize efforts to improve infrastructure. According to the USDA, the inventory will help make sure future improvements will create the maximum benefit for both public safety and stream habitat.
“This project provides an opportunity for the county to work with other government agencies to take a more proactive approach to improving our infrastructure and reducing road maintenance needs while identifying methods that are less impactful on the environment,” said Polk County Road Superintendent Roy Thomason.
This is a part of a larger project aimed at improving stream crossing to strengthen infrastructure, reduce flood risks, and improve habitat for native and endangered species. The project will be funded in part by Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the Tallassee Fund. Forest Service staff will be doing the inventory itself.